smart spending

Hoda Kotb talks travel, 'Today,' shopping trips

Before becoming the co-host of the fourth hour of "Today," Hoda Kotb was a Peabody Award-winning journalist, reporting from some of the world's most dangerous hot spots. Now, in addition to her co-hosting duties, Kotb writes books, including one recently released on paperback, "Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee," In her next book, "Ten Years Later," Kotb will document the lives of people 10 years after significant life events.

 
Hoda Kotb
Hoda KotbPhoto by PR Photos
How did you make a living before you became a journalist?

After school, I went on a job hunt and got rejected by 27 news directors. So I went to Cairo -- my family lived in Egypt -- and got an internship at the CBS bureau there that paid, I think, nothing. I think she gave me $100 at the end as a gift for working there. There were other jobs along the way. I was a waitress at Ponderosa, serving those steaks with the little sticks that said "medium" or "well done." I also worked in an ice cream store.

Hoda KotbPhoto by PR Photos
Once you got established, did you start splurging on bigger things?

I don't really have a bunch of stuff. I'm not a "stuff" person. I remember just taking trips to the Caribbean. I went to Acapulco. I thought that was a cool thing. When you don't have any money, you don't go places. Then you're like, suddenly, I can go. It was so cool. You can buy a plane ticket, check into a hotel and enjoy yourself. That was probably just when I started making it, and to feel that I could take a trip when I wanted to was great. Otherwise, I bought a Honda. I didn't buy anything big. I always rented an apartment and lived the same life. When I have money, I like to fly somewhere and see something new.

Hoda KotbPhoto by PR Photos
So now that you're a big 'Today' host, that's your big splurge? Trips?

And dresses, I guess. It's so funny -- I'm so weird about stuff. I buy clothes, but I buy a lot of them because I'm on the air and I need them. I like to fly everybody in our family places. I've done that a few times. We like warm-weather spots. This winter, I rented a place in Florida for the first time, which is kind of a big splurge for me. I don't usually do something like that, but I thought, "Let me try for a place to get away to get warm."

Hoda KotbPhoto by PR Photos
What's the best place you flew everybody?

We've all gone to Egypt. I've flown to Dubai and flown my sister there. We have a little niece and she's not great on long flights, so we (often) just go close -- to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Florida -- something like that. As long as we're all in the same house or the same room, it's usually a pretty cool time for us.

 
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